Gododdin - The Earliest British Literature (Paperback)Gwyn Thomas (author)
Paperback 144 Pages / Published: 31/10/2012
- Not available
A classic translation of poems from the sixth century. In over a hundred short, rhymed odes, Gododdin commemorates the encounter of 300 Britons with the Angles to win back the land of Catraeth, modern day Catterick, and how that conflict ended in the glorious and heroic defeat of the Britons.
Publisher: Gomer Press
Number of pages: 144
Dimensions: 216 x 140 x 10 mm
In this book poet and Professor Gwyn Thomas translates the odes (awdlau) which make up the bulk of the Gododdin of Aneirin, followed by the 'Gorchanau' (of Tudfwlch, of Adebon, of Cynfelyn and also 'Gwarchan Maeldderw' (the Song of Maeldderw', credited to Taliesin). The odes of the main text commemorate the warriors who fell at Catraeth, fighting a vastly greater force of Saxons. They are rather formulaic but nevertheless give vigorous portraits of a succession of dark age horsemen, wearing armour and gold torques, carrying lime-whitened shields and deadly spears. They fought for the chieftain who had trained and feasted them for a year in Din Eidyn and perished almost to a man. In his clear and scholarly introduction, Professor Thomas gives a detailed account of the history of the two manuscript sources and what they suggest about the transmission of the text. Any student of literature of the period will, I am sure, find this work of great service and it passes on the ancient material to those who are unable to read the original. For the non-specialist, the actual translation inevitably loses the musicality of the Welsh wordplay. Although the Gododdin has been rendered in dramatic and fictional form in recent years, when one reads these odes there is actually very little of the story to be found. What they do, and what Professor Thomas succeeds in doing for a new generation and readership, is that central duty of the praise-singer and the essence of immortality in the ancient world to keep alive the names and nature of those lost heroes. While the bard sings and the child remembers they will not vanish from the hearts of men. Caroline Clark It is possible to use this review for promotional purposes, but the following acknowledgment should be included: A review from www.gwales.com, with the permission of the Welsh Books Council. Gellir defnyddio'r adolygiad hwn at bwrpas hybu, ond gofynnir i chi gynnwys y gydnabyddiaeth ganlynol: Adolygiad oddi ar www.gwales.com, trwy ganiatd Cyngor Llyfrau Cymru. -- Welsh Books Council
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